Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chautauqua speeches

On the August "Start a new post," Anonymous said:

ROOSEVELT’S Wants to Implement Marshall Plan? And/Or feels like Elizabeth Taylor’s Seventh Hubbie

Please read about Mr. Roosevelt as a CONSULTANT/Speaker

Gloomy Side Of Reform

By Andrew Carr
POSTED: August 7, 2010

CHAUTAUQUA - Speaking about education reform is a hard thing to do without being gloomy, said Mark Roosevelt to a Chautauqua Institution audience.

Roosevelt, in his lecture Friday, managed however, to weave humor and truth together to make a compelling argument in the education reform issue. After hearing many of the speakers this week, he said he would try to not reiterate many of the points they had made.

"I feel like Elizabeth Taylor's seventh husband," he said. "I know exactly what to do, just not how to make it interesting."
The truth of the matter is not pretty, he said.

"My generation is the first generation to be worse off than our parents," he said.
He described the "it takes a village" argument, saying he believes this is true; therefore all the blame cannot be put on teachers, administrators or unions alone.

"We are all responsible for what is happening," he said. "We are not raising our children the way they need to be raised."
Roosevelt shared his experience in the Pittsburgh school system, and how as superintendent he was trying to change that system. Being in Pittsburgh, the school system must tackle many hardships such as economic disparity, he said.

"The things in our culture that can drive children down away from where they need to be are so powerful," he said.

In order to inspire the reform that is needed, the American public must know what is going on and become involved, he said.
"Most of America does not know how big this problem is," he said. "You can't solve a problem if you don't know it exists."
Roosevelt spoke about the achievement gap, and how we focus on this as the main issue. Roosevelt reiterated that this is a very important issue, but is part of a larger problem.

"If we remove the African-American and Latino children from the equation, our highest achieving children are still in the middle of the pack," he said. "And our African-American and Latino children are second to last in the world. It is very important to recognize we have achievement gaps in this country, but we can't let that obscure the fact that most children are not getting the education they need."

In order to change the educational system, we need to recognize academic achievement, and inspire national standards, he said.
"If you want to make change in the educational system, you have to think about 15,274 school board agendas," he said. "We need to work together if we are ever going to make this change. There is truth in a lot of people's views, but there is no simple truth, no simple answer."

Roosevelt said that there are many reasons to be optimistic, however. Some schools have started to become nuclei of innovation, there are signs on non-partisanship on the issue, and the history of our country shows that when we recognize a big problem we can do something about it.

"We need a Marshall Plan for public education in America," he said.

August 8, 2010 11:33 AM
Anonymous said...
PureReformthe enclosed articles need to be posted for comments they are very insightful and very revealing regarding Roosevelt-he gave more out about himself and his agenda in NY-never in PPS

Please post each as a seperate blog entry.

We need to have this as comsuption and the blog can have open discussion.

It would be nice to take key points from each article to-Roosevelt is silent in PPS and PGH-place him in NY and pay him as a xonsultant and or public speaker he even answers questions-both give excellent insight for our future children under his tutelage the next couple years for PPS.

The Chautauquan Daily - Roosevelt to share Pittsburgh successes
Roosevelt to share Pittsburgh successes Mark Roosevelt by Sara Toth Staff writer The Chautauqua audience has heard numerous perspectives on the public ...

Gloomy Side Of Reform

Jamestown Post Journal
By Andrew Carr

CHAUTAUQUA - Speaking about education reform is a hard thing to do without being gloomy, said Mark Roosevelt to a ...

Questioner said...

Here is the correct link


Mark Rauterkus said...

Would much rather have an audio or video of the entire talk -- not just some news article about what they reported he said.

Please call the organizers to see if the proceedings were documented or will be made available.

Anonymous said...

Questions for Mark Roosevelt who states: "And our African-American and Latino children are second to last in the world.”

Why does he believe this and what has his administration done in the past five years to address the problem in PPS?

Why does he believe “most children are not getting the education they need" as he states?

Does he believe that educators have any responsibility? If not, why? Explain.

Anonymous said...

I don't need an audio or video to confirm what I already know about Roosevelt. He said those words, and more, I am certain of that.

Anonymous said...

Roosevelt isn't interested in closing the gap. He wants a brown shirt program.

His plan, or Broad plan, is to uproot the education system in the name of 'reform.' First he has to convince the public that 'reform' is necessary for the good (progress) of this Country. Then he needs to remove (eliminate) those (teachers, principals,..) who do not have the same mindset (oppose/nonprogramable) and replace them with those who have been certified (programmed/brain-washed)through the academy. He needs to create an unpleasant, chaotic environment to shove out high performing students leaving the at-risk students, whose parents are absent, to their mercy. These students will be taught bad science (global warming), learn about civics and society instead of history, and will read books that will perpetuate racism and intimidation. Saul Alinski's'Rules For Radicals' is a book on the reading list at school districts that accept grant money from the Ford Foundation. Students who graduate from this program will not have learned to think for themselves but what to think.

I believe these students deserve better than this and should not be used as "pawns."

Anonymous said...

Didn't Elizabeth Taylor meet her 7th husband in rehab? That is such an odd reference.

Anonymous said...

One of the Questions ans Roosevelt’s answers from The ChautauquanDaily newspaper - Roosevelt to share Pittsburgh successes


Q: In this kind of system, I’m very curious about how you were hired, why you accepted and how you get up in the morning? (laughter)

A: I have no idea.
I have no idea.
And medication. laughter, applause)

Roosevelt can do stand-up comedy-weree all the educators having cocktails prior?!

Get him booked on a reality TV show.

My concern as a parent that works in public service this is a very unprofessional comment-he is a public figure.

His answers are very disturbing.

Imagine a teacher, police officer, firefighter, nurse etc making this comment in a speech-we would be scrutinized for on the job performances and drug tested. This would be grounds for a suspension if a leader made this comment.

A public figure does not make this kind of comment representing our students and children-very inappropriate-this is not a celebrity roast infomercial on late night television.

He is representing the Pittsburgh Public School System.

This is tasteless.
Humor is essential- better PR or speechwriter.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said August 8, 2010 11:58 PM
Didn't Elizabeth Taylor meet her 7th husband in rehab? That is such an odd reference!

If you read the other article The ChautauquanDaily newspaper - Roosevelt to share Pittsburgh successes -----he talks about movie stars that never finish high school-Lizzie Taylor never finished high school and his reference to taking medication in the morning----he is going to need Rehab-if it is more than aspirin issues. If He is planning on being Husband Number 8-they will meet at the Betty Ford Clinic.

What an odd reference Elizabeth Taylor?

I really need to figure Lizzie and Mark out-

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:27.

Not sure if you are yanking chains or poking fun.

I am not the National Enquirer, I just think Mark Roosevelt is very out of touch, and after reading some remarks he made at his speech, it is obvious he is clueless.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...August 9, 2010 12:35 AM
“ Not sure if you are yanking chains or poking fun.”

“I am not the National Enquirer, I just think Mark Roosevelt is very out of touch, and after reading some remarks he made at his speech, and it is obvious he is clueless.”

Anon-I am taking some of Roosevelt’s answers and comments, as gravely serious-he is a public figure representing our children and head of our district.
This is not his Retirement party or roast.

He is tasteless and his comments are beyond pompous about his hiring (his answers of yes are truthful) about his qualifications,add the comment about medication-no wonder we have no access to him as parents.

In addition, WE must have written questions prior for screening. NO Q and A audience for PPS parents. HE is together playing the right CLUE game. We appear clueless to him.

He hit a raw nerve of mine as a taxpayer and parent of children. I have to get over my anger at his behavior for the above mentioned Roosevelt comments.

Fun or Chains-I let you know-if I get there.

Some of his comments regarding parents, etc are honest and accurate.

Nevertheless, he came across as a hypocrite and as my children say in slang, doublespeak-he blames our teachers in PPS here regarding so-called bad students and blames certain parents in his NY speech for behavioral issues, etc.

I truly believe it is time for him to move on-I was a believer in him even on some his PPS Agenda-yes even some of his current proposals -but I have lost total respect for this man and his Harvard Diploma.

He needs reprimanded.

Anonymous said...

Mark Roosevelt demonstrates a natural propensity for being quite "glib" which appears to help him 'get over'
with people who know little about what it takes to be a good educator.
Can advocates for M.R. provide one statement of substance that gives us a ray of hope for our children in PPS?

Anonymous said...

anon 1:13

I know, why do you think I am still awake? He is a master of behind the scene action, he will never dirty his hands, but he is the first to point fingers at another. (then hide). He and most of his direct staff are cowards.

Play their game or goodbye. It is not a lot of fun.

I am glad he said the idiotic things he did at that conference. Maybe a few more people will take notice if local media picks this story up. (I am not holding my breath)

Most of the comments I read here cannot be defended by him or his spin.

Old Timer said...

Listen, the sooner we realize the fact that this man is cognizant of the fact that he has carte blanche to do as he pleases, the better we will move forward. His arrogance emanates from the basic fact that he understands that he has a blank check in all regards: do what you please, hire whom you please and truly, no one can do a thing about it.
Taxpayers, parents, are powerless.
The school board will not question; it's more important to simply sign off on whatever the guy wants than to remember who it is you work for and what your charge is. The media will not question; it simply eats up propaganda that comes from PR and prints or reports it. The union at one time was the only recourse---but Mr.Tarka has essentially shown himself to either be a coward of incredible proportions, a man with some personal agenda that made selling out his rank and file a tremendous option or a man of incredible ignorance and short-sightedness.

Washington D.C.'s firings will be imitated here in short order. What you have read about Boston schools---Roosevelt's own back yard--will be here shortly.

To brother and sister's hoping you spend some time in building your resumes, forging contacts in other districts for future jobs, or having some back up plan where employment is concerned. No matter how good a teacher you are, it is clear that you may be terminated and it is just as clear that you will have no recourse. Simply put, there is nothing you can do about it.

I believe the handwriting is on the wall. I've never been a paranoid but I've always made decisions based on what I see coming up on the road ahead. In every way, shape and form, this individual has illustrated his dislike for teachers and his willingness to terminate them, as they simply are the problem. It behooves all teachers to understand that it is possible and perhaps likely that they will not have jobs next year. It is prudent to plan accordingly, even though such a termination can conjure up any number of adjectives: unfair, disturbing, sad, etc.

Above all, you have a man in charge who simply does not care and realizes that he can do as pleases.

Questioner said...

We are trying to bring about positive change here. There is value in a wake up call to teachers. But we need to go beyond observations that the administration in largely unchecked and discuss ways to address that problem. There's always a solution.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:16, wow, I am sometimes amazed by the paranoid rants that appear here! Brown shirts? Global warming/bad science?

Look, most that are paying attention agree that a lot of the reform implemented and proposed to date are ill-concieved and poorly implemented with no accountability from our school board. But these rants make us look CRAZY!

let's save this forum for exchange of ideas, information. A little griping is not bad, I know there is a lot of frustration, but this type of post undermines out credibility.

Questioner said...

Re: "In addition, WE must have written questions prior for screening. NO Q and A audience for PPS parents."

- The prior question approach is problematic because there is no give and take. A response may need lead to a further question or may seem inconsistent with other statements or sources of information, but there is no opportunity for follow up. Also the way a question is read can affect its meaning and impact; questioners should be able to present their own questions.

Old Timer said...

Sorry Questioner, you are living in a panacea here. You are looking for positive change and you believe that things can always change. That's nice, but it simply stands in contrast to the grim reality for teachers. This past summer, Washington's teacher firings bear this out. The article in the PG about Boston schools serves to again reinforce this idea.
Positive change?
You and the anon poster who follow your comments once again fail to walk a mile in the shoes of any teacher who gets targeted. What will the loss of one's livelihood at the age of 55 mean?
The public arrogance of a superintendent who sees such a tactic as a distinct possibility and yet has never been in a classroom is one thing. To neglect what is taking place as a parent is another. To call such commentary "crazy" or "paranoid" completely ignores what is making news.
Walk a mile in the shoes of teachers...teacher who have dedicated their lives to bettering the lives of Pittsburgh's youth through education.

No amount of sugar-coating can dissuade even the most casual viewer from understanding what dire times these are for teachers. We are targets simply because we will not nod our heads, close our mouths and genuflect.

Positive change entails two parties looking to improve matters. In this situation, one party believes it has all of the answers.

Sorry Questioner...a major step backwards here.

Old Timer said...

Incidentally anon, the teacher who describes bad science, brown shirts, and the idea to have all kids think as the establishment wants them to think as opposed to how to think for themselves is NOT crazy, your feelings about "credibility" notwithstanding. I know we have some administrative shrills who show up from time to time, but spend a few days and read the various curricula from each department, then discuss your concerns about looking credible.
As an educator, I am not preparing your child for anything if I am simply teaching him how to regurgitate what I want him to say. This is education today and yes, it sounds very 1984-ish. Solid science curriculum is discarded in favor of unintelligible trash. Actual history is set aside in favor of feel-good trivia. Legendary works of literature are collected and shipped out of buildings by "supervisors" who have substituted more feel-good books that simply pales in literary comparison.
But let's not call this to your attention....after all, we want to appear credible.
Amazing logic.
We truly have put the inmates in charge of the asylum where PPS administration is concerned.

Questioner said...

Wait Anon didn't say the concerns about teachers were crazy. Concerns about teachers' well being and possible loss of excellent teachers are very valid. A start could be looking at what is really going on when teachers and principals are "replaced". An article in today's NYT discusses a school in Boston where half the teachers are replaced, but almost all end up elsewhere in the Boston public school system. Is there any evidence of gains from all this shuffling around? As for the alternative- completely cutting teachers off- is there any evidence that replacements do better? Wouldn't we once again want a small pilot program b/f we jump into this approach. For ex, at the ALA's- have at least half the teachers and the principal changed at any of the schools and what have the results been? If positive, could those same results have been achieved by existing teachers using any new program that was put into place?

Old Timer said...

Thanks Questioner, I stand corrected.
I simply do not believe things can be changed when arrogance rules the day. I simply do not believe that positive change can take place when media is 'owned' and when teaching staff is looked at as the adversary rather than colleagues on the front lines.
But we've been down this road.
My feeling is that teachers should see what is ahead, and its not pretty.

Questioner said...

There does seem to be a disturbing tendency to "go along" without real evidence. For example, on the teachers' program- wouldn't it have made sense to first try out whatever they will be teaching on a small scale- say a single grade in a single school- before making an $80 commitment (regardless of who is paying and the split between contributed and taxpayer money), to see if the techniques work? Is there something of real substance and value that will be come out of this effort and is the plan workable? Shouldn't there some proof before this kind of money is spent?

Old Timer said...

Here again, we see Roosevelt's corporate approach. We stack the deck with a number of administrators who are not in our schools. In true job justification style, these individuals formulate policy for both in the classroom and out by culling research which is called "cutting edge". In other words, it is out there on the internet, it is new, there are consultants attached to it....and there has been little time given to see if it actually works.

Look at the outcry over accountable talk in NYC and Chicago schools, among others.
Look at the nationwide rancor over merit pay.
These are only two examples.

This progressive push seems to really impress media types and people who believe that old educational methods don't work so we should simply throw out everything. And Roosevelt's people being the media and public opinion savvy people they are certainly know this.

Again Questioner, we are on the cusp of a dark period for teachers. DC and Boston are in effect storm warnings for Pittsburgh teachers. We can try to weather the storm or make contingency plans accordingly.

You make mention of the $80 million dollar Gates deal. Indeed, money talks. It tainted our contract negotiations and vote and it taints what is being concocted at Bellefield Ave. None of it bodes well for teachers or more importantly, students.

Anonymous said...

Old Timer is absolutely correct, as usual. We need to listen to him. We cannot ignore the politics involved here. We've been brain-washed to believe that education is broken and needs reformed; just like healthcare, renewable energy, etc. You will not succeed without realizing this first.

The only way to combat this is to replace all the board members who rubber stamp Roosevelts' plans, and replace them with people who will guestion, think independently, and is dedicated to the children and the community it serves. That is a start.

With a new board, then the ship can be turned around and the house can be cleaned.

As for me, I will stand my ground. I will not turn and run. Pittsburgh can be successful with the right leader.

lucky said...

In the article the superintendent mentions a soft spot for those who teach and keep their spirits high while doing so. As a parent I have the same soft spot. I have a mental list of the exceptional teachers my kid had and another list of teachers who did an adequate job FOR HER but connected with other kids and helped them to achieve more than they thought possible.

This year more than ever parents can step up in small ways to become part of the evaluation process by just communicating positive messages to principals on a teacher's performance. An email does not take a lot of effort and many of us have been quick to break the chain of protocol and go straight to a principal when we felt "wronged" by a teacher. We need to be fair and less reactionary.

Old Timer said...

lucky, thank you. That's the nicest thing I've read in support of good teachers in some time...especially at this time period.

Anonymous said...

At this point in time, administration simply has a different perception as to how urban education needs to evolve. Most classroom teachers simply see those comments as being out of touch with reality.
That said, it's the policies that bother most of us and then the refusal to budge on those proposals. From curriculum to evaluations to the idea that more consultants are going to be hired...administrative policies are what is troublesome---and not the character or personalities of administrators themselves.

Questioner said...

What bothers most of us is not an honest difference on policies or even the refusal to budge, but rather the spin and secrecy surrounding decisions and results.

It's the handpicked committees; closed meetings; referral of even basic questions to the right to know office; "answers" that dodge the question being asked; months of delays in releasing PSSA scores and reports such as the Title IX audit; insistence that anecdotes from other parts of the country constitute real evidence; and ostensible rather than actual explanations offered for decisions and results. Add to that a complete lack of humility in the face of limited results achieved to date.